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Nordstrom Q4 earnings thrive 36% following strong sales

Feb '06
Fashion specialty retailer Nordstroms Inc reported net earnings of $190.4 million, or $0.69 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter ended January 28, 2006.

For the same period last year, net earnings and earnings per diluted share were $140.0 million and $0.50, respectively.

Total sales for the fourth quarter of 2005 increased 9.3 percent, to $2.3 billion, compared to sales of $2.1 billion in the same period last year.

Fourth quarter same-store sales increased 5.8 percent.

Fourth Quarter Highlights
Net earnings increased 36 percent in the fourth quarter compared to the same quarter last year, reflecting strong sales momentum and ongoing operating improvements.

The company remains committed to providing a differentiated shopping experience and delivering superior long-term financial performance.

-- Same-store sales increased 5.8 percent for the quarter, higher than the company's one to three percent same-store sales guidance.

Continued improvement in regular price sales throughout the quarter and a successful Men's Half-Yearly clearance event drove the sales increase.

-- Gross profit, as a percent of sales, increased 81 basis points.

This improvement was a result of sales leverage on buying and occupancy costs.

-- The same-store sales increase combined with expense control resulted in a 70 basis point reduction in selling, general and administrative expenses on a percent to sales basis.

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